HISTORY OF MODERN Uttarakhand after Independence

HISTORY OF MODERN Uttarakhand after Independence

  • Until 1998, Uttarakhand was the name most commonly used to refer to the region, as various political groups including most significantly the Uttarakhand Kranti Dal (Uttarakhand Revolutionary Party est. 1979), began agitating for separate statehood under its banner.
  • Although the erstwhile hill kingdoms of Garhwal and Kumaon were traditional rivals with diverse lingual and cultural influences due to the proximity of different neighbouring ethnic groups, the inseparable and complementary nature of their geography, economy, culture, language, and traditions created strong bonds between the two regions.
  • These bonds formed the basis of the new political identity of Uttarakhand, which gained significant momentum in 1994, when demand for separate statehood (within the Union of India) achieved almost unanimous acceptance among the local populace as well as political parties at the national level.
  • Most notable incident during this period was the Rampur Tiraha firing case on the night of 1 October 1994, which led to public uproar.
  • On 24 September 1998 Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly passed the ‘Uttar Pradesh Reorganisation Bill’, 1998, which eventually led to the creation of the state, eventually the Parliament passed the Indian Federal Legislation – Uttar Pradesh Reorganisation Act 2000, and thus on 9 November 2000, Uttarakhand became the 27th state in the Republic of India.
  • However, the term Uttaranchal came into use when the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led central and Uttar Pradesh state governments initiated a new round of state reorganization in 1998 and introduced its preferred name.
  • In August 2006, India’s Union Cabinet assented to the four-year-old demand of the Uttaranchal state assembly and leading members of the Uttarakhand movement to rename Uttaranchal state as Uttarakhand.
  • Legislation to that effect was passed by the State Legislative Assembly in October 2006,and the Union Cabinet brought in the bill in the winter session of Parliament


Major Milestones in formation of Uttarakhand

  • The first ever agitation for the hill state was organized in 1957 under the leadership of erstwhile ruler of Tehri Manvendra Shah but it took almost 14 years to assume shape of a common cause of the people of the region.
  • Uttarakhand Rajya Parishad, formed in 1973 took up the cause and became a platform for struggle. The movement produced a political party, namely Uttarakhand Kranti Dal in July 1979 under the chairmanship of former vicechancellor of Kumaun University. Its rst-ever MLA (Jaswant Singh Bisht) was elected in the assembly election held in 1980.
  • Kashi Singh Eree wining in 1985 became its second representative to the state assembly. But this was the only main road, Uttarakhand Kranti Dal could make.
  • Bhartiya Janata Party came up with a major force (and ultimately became a dominant party) in the hills after it started justifying the demand for new state.
  • As far the state assembly was concerned, it passed a government-sponsored motion demanding Uttarakhand state, on 12th August 1991 Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav government came up with a resolution to the same elect, and done the state assembly adopt it on 24th August 1994.
  • Three years later, on 24th April 1997, the state assembly passed yet another government motion urging the center to do the needful for creating a hill state.
  • The central government headed by the BJP, came up with a constitutional amendment bill, the first exercise of the kind, in 1994 and through the President of India, urged the state assembly to give its opinion on various provisions of the bill.
  • The state assembly, in turn, passed a resolution offering as many as 26 amendments to the central draft bill including the one to bar Haridwar becoming part of the new state and almost usurping a number of proprietarily rights over the irrigation and power projects and major natural resources. The proposed Uttarakhand
  • The amendments suggested by the state assembly include among other things, full property rights to Uttar Pradesh as far as power projects and water resources are concerned.
  • All irrigation and power projects, already in existence and also those under construction, will belong to Uttar Pradesh, said the resolution. It also provides for a 60-member Assembly of the new state and till this house is constituted through all legal formalities, an interim Assembly will promise on 17th May 2000 in the Lok Sabha.
  • The Uttar Pradesh reformation bill was passed in the Lok Sabha on 1st August 2000 and in the Rajya Sabha on 10 August 2000. The President gave his approval to the bill on 28th August 2000.
  • Later it was notified to the official gazetteer.
  • Political analysts conclude that as against long-drawn and bitter struggle for. creation of most of new states, people of Uttaranchal are getting it rather comfortably- reason being that both the major political parties, which matter in the hills have a common cause as far as creation of the new state in concerned.
  • Uttaranchal, like all other new states has a history but dotted mostly with strikes, bundhs, meetings, conferences and the like, barring a major incident of police and administrative excesses mostly on women who were proceeding to Delhi to participate in a rally organized in support of Uttaranchal on second October 1994 in Muzaffarnagar in western. U.P.

Chipko environmental movement

  • Uttarakhand is also well known for the mass agitation of the 1970s that led to the formation of the Chipko environmental movement and other social movements.HISTORY OF MODERN Uttarakhand after Independence
  • Though primarily a livelihood movement rather than a forest conservation movement, it went on to become a rallying point for many future environmentalists, environmental protests, and movements the world over and created a precedent for non-violent protest.
  • It stirred up the existing civil society in India, which began to address the issues of tribal and marginalized people.
  • So much so that, a quarter of a century later, India Today mentioned the people behind the “forest satyagraha” of the Chipko movement as amongst “100 people who shaped India”.
  • One of Chipko’s most salient features was the mass participation of female villagers.
  • Both female and male activists played pivotal roles in the movement.
  • Gaura Devi was the main activist who started this movement other participants were Chandi Prasad Bhatt, Sundarlal Bahuguna, and Ghanshyam Raturi, the popular Chipko poet
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